Republican Jaw-Dropper of the Day

Because they really do seem to come every day now. Joe Barton apologizes to British Petroleum for Pres. Obama asking them to put $20 billion in an escrow fund to pay for the Gulf Coast oil rig explosion cleanup costs. Then he apologizes for the apology. And then he apologizes for apologizing for the apology.  And then he takes down the tweet where he apologized for apologizing for the apology.

Sharron Angle tells impregnated rape and incest victims that they should not have abortions because their rape was part of God’s plan for them — and then she tells jobless Americans that their unemployment checks have spoiled them and made them unwilling to take any of the oodles of jobs that are out there right now.

John Boehner tells the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the financial reform bill is the equivalent of using a nuclear weapon to kill an ant.

On the first day of confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee attack Kagan for having associated herself with that notorious outcome-oriented judicial activist Thurgood Marshall (via having clerked for him and having made it publicly known that he is one of her personal heroes).

Then, today (emphasis in original):

As confirmation hearings on Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court proceed, Senate Republicans continue blustering through their arguments — even going as far as to lambast Kagan’s clerkship under Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice. Today, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) echoed classic Republican talking points under President Obama, lecturing the Supreme Court nominee about how Americans are “losing freedom,” and how we were more free “30 years ago.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) then responded to Coburn by pointing out that Coburn’s idea of a more “free” society was when women had fewer rights:

KLOBUCHAR: I was really interested and listening to Senator Coburn. … He was actually asking you, just now, back 30 years ago if you thought that we were more free. … But I was thinking back 30 years ago, was 1980. … And then I was thinking, were we really more free, if you were a woman in 1980? Do you know, solicitor general, how many women were on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980?

KAGAN: I guess zero.

Sen. Coburn also threatened to filibuster Kagan’s nomination, telling ABC News that she was “ignorant of Constitutional principles”:

“I think the thing that’s very worrisome is that she has a very expansive view of the Commerce Clause, and I find that she’s ignorant of the Constitution’s limitation of that, especially what our Founders wrote,” Coburn, R-Okla.,  told us.

“And her reliance was that, ‘Well, here’s the precedent that’s been set, and we can’t go back to original intent,’ which comes back to another thing that she said earlier in the hearing — is that precedent trumps original intent. And I think most Americans would reject that. If that was the case, then we would have never had Brown vs. the Board of Education, and Plessy-Ferguson would still be the law. And to have a Supreme Court nominee that actually says precedent trumps original intent is worrisome, in my opinion.”

Coburn is more than a bit confused about Constitutional principles himself. In addition to believing Americans were more free at a time when women had fewer opportunities, he told ABC News that he had “no idea” whether he would have voted to confirm Thurgood Marshall in 1967:

Coburn joins fellow Judiciary Committee member Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who said yesterday that it was “hard to say” whether he would have supported Marshall. As Salon’s Steve Kornacki noted, “That’s a rather stunning statement when you consider the dynamics of Marshall’s 1967 confirmation.” Only 11 senators voted against Marshall, and their opposition “had everything to do with race — and, more specifically, with lingering white Southern resentment of the court’s 1954 school desegregation ruling (in which Marshall, as the NAACP’s chief counsel, had played a leading role).” All 11 were White and Southern, and most had signed the “Southern Manifesto,” a pro-segregation document drafted by the late Sen. Strom Thurmond.

So tell me again how all that civil rights legislation only passed because Republicans pushed it through over the tooth-and-nail opposition of Southern white Democrats?


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